July 31st, 2008

The Mushroom Steak Stuff


I love the name of this recipe. It’s about as imaginative a name as my family would come up with.

But you know what? It’s perfect. That’s exactly what it is — mushroom steak stuff.

Check this out from AllRecipes.com: 


The Mushroom Steak Stuff


“The Mushroom Steak Stuff is what my family has come to call it. In all actuality, it’s sirloin strips and an awesome feta-mushroom cream sauce with pasta. A wonderful Italian meal!”


The reviewer gave this recipe 4 stars. This recipe average a 4.3 star rating.



  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 pound beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 (6 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rigatoni pasta, and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes until hot and bubbly. Crumble the bacon overtop, and serve over the rigatoni pasta.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sirloin strips, and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Remove the sirloin to a casserole dish, then stir the mushrooms into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then season with the mustard, ginger, salt, and pepper, and cook 3 minutes more. Pour in the red wine and Marsala wine, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the cream and half of the crumbled feta cheese, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The feta helps thicken the cream. The cream sauce is not a gravy, so it will not thicken like gravy. Once ready, pour the mushroom mixture over the sirloin strips, and sprinkle with the remaining feta cheese.

You can read the entire article along with readers’ comments here. And try it yourself!

July 30th, 2008

Steak — the Great Equalizer


As always, I am on the lookout for other people’s opinions, recipes and thoughts about steak.

Sometimes, I’m not so sure I should look outward for answers that should come from within.

Perhaps that’s a bit too heady for a blog about steak. But take this “poll” I discovered, for instance.

It comes to us from http://forums.atari.com. Now that should conjure up images of pocket protectors, big ’80s glasses and dudes who LOVED the movie “War Games.” (Okay, I loved it, too. Matthew Broderick rocks.)

But, well, just check it out.


> Steaky, steak, steak. Here it goes down, down into my belly…, How do you like it?

How do you like your steak?
Blue [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
Rare [ 2 ]  [15.38%]
Medium rare [ 4 ]  [30.77%]
Medium [ 1 ]  [7.69%]
Medium well [ 3 ] [23.08%]
Well done [ 3 ] [23.08%]
Total Votes: 13


I would like to say that this goes to show you a love for steak crosses all social, economic, political, blah, blah boundaries. And that we could gain some real insight into people’s steak preferences from this poll. But, seriously. Only 13 people voted?

Is that really enough to give us a good idea of what people like? I think not.

All it tells you is that 3 dudes from your high school chess club like their steaks medium well. And that, my friends, ain’t scientific.

And so, I will continue on my search for answers. For the truth about steak. For the REAL scoop. Will I ever find it? Perhaps not. But it’s the journey that matters. It’s all about the journey.

July 29th, 2008

Try This One


I love to read about how other people prepare their steaks. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Well, some people like it REALLY spicy. And really creative.

“Raj” offered this method of cooking steaks that I’ve never tried. (I’m going to now!) Here’s what he said:

There’s a variation on frying that I like: steam frying. I use lower heat and add slivers of onions and italian peppers, slices of celery and mushrooms, and curry powder. Then pop on a lid.

Yum! Doesn’t that sound delicious? I can smell the simmering onions and peppers now. I’d imagine this method makes the steaks really tender and full of flavor throughout. And a bonus is a bit of a dipping sauce left over after they’re cooked.

My mouth is watering. How about yours?

Read Raj’s suggestion and more here.

July 28th, 2008

Steak is #1!


Self.com has a new article out that discusses the top 20 “superfoods” for weight loss. Want to know food #1?

Yeah, you guessed it. Steak!

I’m so proud I feel a tear coming to my eye. Sniff, sniff.

So, basically the protein in steak helps you retain muscle mass needed for weight loss. And it’s very satisfying.

Check out the article here. And then try to make a steak dinner that includes all of the foods listed. Now THAT would be a supermeal!

July 25th, 2008

Let Your Hand Be Your Guide


Check out this great technique for testing the doneness of your steak. All you need is your hand!

This comes to us from the guys over at MensHealth.com . . .

Cooked to perfection

Check doneness by pressing a steak in the center, says Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue! Bible. Then use your thumb, fingers, and the varying firmness of the base of your thumb as your guide.


Internal temp: 125F
Soft and squishy, like a pink sponge




Internal temp: 145F
Firm but yielding, like a Nerf football 



Internal temp: 160F
Barely yielding, like a racquetball



Internal temp: 170F
Hard yet springy, like a tennis ball

Get other great tips in the entire article here. And have a great weekend grilling up those steaks!!!!

July 24th, 2008

Have a Coke and a Smile


Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Coca-Cola fan. I’m trying to do something about that but that’s another story for another day.

It’s fizzy. It’s sugary. It’s absolutely divine.

So . . . even I never thought of using good ‘ol Coke as a steak marinade. Who wouldda thunk?

Check this out from our friends at Chow.com:

HOME COOKING: Wacky but Wonderful Marinade for Steaks

From the sounds-awful-but-is-really-good files: [one reader] loves to marinate tougher cuts of steak in equal parts Italian salad dressing, ketchup, and Coca-Cola. He lets the steak soak in this mixture all day before grilling. [Another reader] tried it out, and says it’s both delicious and helps tenderize the meat (the latter’s due to the phosphoric acid in the Coke). She likes a little less Coke relative to the dressing and ketchup, and the addition of some Tabasco.

You can take a look at the entire article here. And have a Coke for me!

July 23rd, 2008

Tips from the Experts


Grilling season is in full swing so let’s stop and take a moment to remember some safety tips when you’re preparing those luscious, juicy steaks.

Who better to ask than the beef experts at beefitswhatsfordinner.com? Here’s what they have to say:


  1. Keep beef refrigerated. Grilling times are based on beef being taken directly from the refrigerator to the grill – not at room temperature. Shape burgers in advance, cover and refrigerate until the grill is ready.
  2. Trim, if necessary. Remove visible fat from meat and poultry before grilling to help prevent flare-ups and excess smoke formation.
  3. Marinating mantra. Always marinate in the refrigerator. Tender beef cuts can be marinated for 15 minutes to 2 hours for flavor. Less tender beef cuts should be marinated at least 6 hours –but no more than 24 hours– in a mixture containing an acidic ingredient or a natural tenderizing enzyme. Pat beef dry after removing from marinade to promote even browning and prevent steaming. Do not save marinade for reuse. If a marinade has been in contact with uncooked beef, it must be brought to a full rolling boil before it can be eaten as a sauce.
  4. Grilling temperature matters. Grilling over medium heat ensures even cooking and flavorful, juicy meat. If beef is grilled over too high heat, the exterior can become overcooked or charred before the interior reaches the desired doneness. Charring meat, poultry or fish is not recommended.
  5. Watch the charcoal. Never grill while the coals are still flaming. Wait until the coals are covered with gray ash (approximately 30 minutes), spread in single layer. To check cooking temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; approximately 4 seconds for medium heat.
  6. Know your gas grill. Since gas grill brands vary greatly, consult the owner’s manual for information about preparing the grill for medium heat.
  7. Turn properly. Use long-handled tongs for turning steaks; spatulas for burgers. A fork will pierce the beef causing loss of flavorful juices. And don’t be tempted to press down on burgers – it only releases the juices and creates flare-ups.
  8. Use a thermometer. The best way to determine doneness of burgers and steaks is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, inserted horizontally from the side to penetrate the center of the meat. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature.
  9. Internal temperature matters. Cook burgers to at least 160°F. The color of cooked ground beef is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Cook steaks to at least 145°F (medium rare doneness). The color will be very pink in the center and slightly brown toward the exterior.
  10. Practice food safety. Keep raw meat separate from other foods both in the refrigerator and during preparation. Wash hands, all utensils and surfaces in hot soapy water after contact with raw meat. Never place cooked meat on platters that held raw meat. Use clean serving platters and utensils. Serve cooked food promptly and refrigerate immediately after serving (within two hours after cooking).


Learn more from these guys here. And cook your steaks with confidence!

July 22nd, 2008

Get Yourself in a Pickle


This one I never would have thought of myself in a million years . . . pickle juice as a steak marinade.

It’s so simple it’s genius!

Here’s the lowdown from a really good blog post in Cleveland:

Brush on some pickle juice for a sweet splash of flavor

It makes me cringe [to] think of marinating a steak. Why put my hard-earned money into a piece of meat you’re going to slather with a marinade, a rub, or — heaven forbid — ketchup or A1? But I will admit that adding a little flavor to the beef is suitable.

Maybe it sounds odd, but a light brushing of sweet pickle juice during the last part of grilling a steak is a favorite in our house. The family picks are Sechler’s Sweet Orange Strip pickle juice or Vlasic’s Sweet Gherkin pickle juice. It’s a quick way to add flavor without losing the natural taste of the meat.

Before grilling, we put a little olive oil on the steaks, to keep them from sticking to the grill. Then we center them on a hot charcoal grill for two or three minutes on each side, to sear in the juices. Then, after moving the steaks to the side of the grill for slower cooking, we brush pickle juice onto the steaks.

When cooked, they still taste like beef, with a slightly sweet taste. Yum!

— Brenda Junkin

You can read this and other “sweet” ideas here:


July 21st, 2008

New York Steak of Mind


My husband and I just got back from a long weekend in New York City. We saw the Yankees play before they tear down their old stadium and we met a group of our college friends there.

Since NYC is the unofficial steakhouse capital of the world, one night we went to Sparks Steak House. The ambience is amazing and if you know your mob history you know that mafia boss Paul Castellano was murdered out front in the mid-’80s.

We tried not to think about the murder part but we figured if it was good enough for mob bosses who could go anywhere they wanted it was good enough for us.

The meal was, indeed, great, but it’s the little things that make or break the experience for me. And I gotta tell you, no matter where I go I always end up wishing I had cooked my own steak meal at home.

First of all, they do not have bacon for your baked potato. I’m sorry, that’s a must for me. Where I come from, EVERYONE puts bacon on their baked potato.  And, considering that and butter is all I like on my potato, mine was pretty boring.

Then we get to the steak. The quality of the meat is wonderful. This is NYC for Pete’s sake! But I like mine done medium well. And that apparently means different things to different people.

To me, that means very little pink.

On a really thick steak that’s hard to do. And, frankly, they just don’t wanna.

I’m not big on sending stuff back to the kitchen because I’m always afraid it will come back with invisible spit on it. So, I just eat it as is. Even if it’s not exactly the way I want it.

That’s disappointing.

Then, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know I prefer Teriyaki sauce on my steak. Gee, do ya think they’re going to have that? They’d laugh in my face.

So I suffer through.

I figure they can at least fix the bacon thing before I go there next. But, wow, do you think they have a Suggestion Box at the front?

Heck no.

And if they did here’s what they would do to my little suggestion . . .

So, as we were eating, a little phrase I tell my kids all the time kept running through my head, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

My husband wouldn’t mind putting my steak back on the grill until it was perfectly done. And I’m sure he would buy me bacon for my potato (that is, if he EVER went grocery shopping).

But my husband doesn’t work at Sparks. So since he works for me, I think I’ll put him to work on our own grill pretty soon . . .

July 18th, 2008

Ever Dance With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight?


Okay, so that’s from the 1989 Batman movie. I’m a geek. Are YOU going to see The Dark Knight?

I want to but it’s definitely not for kids my little guys’ ages so it would have to be a Mommy/Daddy thing. Those times are hard to come by. We will move heaven and earth to get there, though.

But, if you are a Batman fan, like me, there are other ways to enjoy His Batness other than trotting out to the local AMC.

Check out the graphic novel Batman: Broken City. In it, you’ll be happy to read that Bruce Wayne is a steak enthusiast. (All the cool dudes are.)

Here’s how one reviewer at Amazon.com describes the scene:

Bruce Wayne grilling a steak while talking on the phone with the Gotham PD detective [says], “Grilling relaxes me.”  [That] has to be a new classic and provides a refreshing take of the tired old scenes from the batcave with Alfred making goofy remarks in the background.

So I’ve decided the next time I’m grilling steaks I’m going to slip on my kids’ Batman mask and purr, “Grilling relaxes me” while I turn my ribeyes over a hot flame.

It’s all in the presentation, right people? Who better to kick steak’s cool factor up a notch than the Dark Knight?

Be sure to check out that graphic novel here. And grill a steak in honor of your ol’ Bat Buddy.

July 17th, 2008

Cool, Refreshing . . . Steak?


The following blog post explains how to get kids to eat their steak by tricking them into thinking it’s an ice cream sundae. Hence, the photo below.

Not sure of the ethical implications here. But the picture sure is purdy! (That’s steak and potatoes, by the way.)

Read more — if you dare (courtesy of AgWired.com) . . .


Have a Steak Sundae

Steak SundaeI just had to post this because of the picture. We just sent out a Talking News Release for long time client, the Missouri Beef Industry Council on the steak sundae. It had me fooled when I first looked at it. I was wondering how beef would go with ice cream. But read on:

April is the “Month of the Young Child” and anyone who has children knows how difficult it can be to get them to eat nutritious foods. To make it a little easier, the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC) offers a fun idea for even the pickiest eaters – the Steak Sundae. According to MBIC marketing director Dawn Thurnau, the treat can be made by alternating layers of mashed potatoes and chunks of steak with warm barbeque sauce or gravy in a sundae dish.

“Then on the top you put your chunks of steak with another little dollop of mashed potatoes and then a cherry tomato on the very top with some green onions. So it looks just like a chocolate sundae, but tastes like an open-face roast beef sandwich,” said Thurnau.

July 16th, 2008

Text Msgs from a Porterhouse


I received the following on my Blackberry from a Porterhouse friend of mine. I have no idea how he got my number. Oh, and here’s a guide to some of the text lingo in case you’re unfamiliar or you don’t have a teenager living in your house . . .

uok? look, i know u r sad u couldn’t finish me in 1 sitting. dont worry it hpns 2 lots of ppl.

u r not alone.

BTW, my BFF T-bone gets a lot of that 2.

ma-b u can try again 2moro? im just as gud the next day. NALOPKT.



July 15th, 2008

Surf ‘n Turf — All in One


I’ve heard of the steak and fish combo but this one is ridiculous . . .

The folks over at Photoshoppix.com don’t exactly tell us how this came about but I am guessing somebody dreamed this up on his computer using Photoshop.

If you like steak . . . and you like fish . . . and you’re in a hurry . . . and you don’t mind oddly-shaped pieces of meat — this might be just the ticket for you.

I’m sticking with my ribeye, thank you very much.

Photo courtesy Photoshoppix.com. Click here to see it in all its glory.

July 14th, 2008

With a Little Cabernet . . .


This amazing recipe for Cabernet Filet Mignon comes to us from WhatsCookingAmerica.net.

It looks absolutely divine. And . . . isn’t red wine the perfect complement to a spectacular steak? I think so.

Click here for the entire article on the Web. Or just read below . . .


My husband was in “steak heaven” with this simple and easy steak! You can either cook the steak by Pan-Searing or a very easy technique called Sear-Roasting. Photo shows the steak with some cubes of blue cheese on top.

Don’t forget to check out my Cabernet Filet Mignon dinner menu which includes this fantastic Cabernet Filet Mignon.

Cabernet Filet Mignon

2 (4 to 6 ounce) 1-inch thick filet mignon steaks
Olive oil
kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cabernet
wine (can substitute any dry red wine)
1 to 2 tablespoons butter

Buying Steaks:

When buying steaks, buy the best grade of meat you can afford. Look for steak with fine texture and firm to the touch. You want the color to be a light cherry red color, not deep red. Also look for steaks that have marbling, as it is the thin threads of fat running through the meat that make it Prime and gives the wonderful flavor. Check out Types of Steaks and Cooking Techniques for the Perfect Steak.

Bring steaks to room temperature before cooking. Coat steaks lightly with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper (press in with your hands). Be careful not to over season, as the seasonings are to enhance the flavor of the meat and not to cover it up.

Using the Pan-Searing or Sear-Roasting techniques (see below techniques), proceed to cook your steak to your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness:

    Rare – 120°F
    Medium Rare – 125°F
    Medium – 130°F

Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping any pieces of steak off the bottom of the pan and stirring them into the emerging sauce. Let the liquid boil until reduced to approximately 1/3 cup. Remove pan from heat. Add the butter and mix it in by swirling the pan. Pour the sauce over the steaks just before serving.



Makes 2 servings.



In a heavy frying pan (I use my cast-iron frying pan) over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear the steaks, moving them with tongs a little so they don’t stick to the bottom, for 5 to 6 minutes per side. When the steaks are crusty-charred and done to your liking, remove from the pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. During this time the meat continues to cook (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven) and the juices redistribute; add juices that accumulate from resting steaks to Cabernet-Cherry Sauce). Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto individual serving plates.



Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (a very hot oven produces a juicy interior). Place a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof skillet or cast-iron skillet in oven. When oven reaches 500 degrees temperature, remove pan from oven and place on range over high heat (the pan and the handle will be extremely hot – be careful).


Immediately place steaks in the middle of hot, dry pan (if cooking more than one piece of meat, add the pieces carefully so that they are not touching each other). Cook 1 to 2 minutes without moving; turn with tongs and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and put the cast iron skillet with the steaks in it into the oven. Cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of steaks and degree of doneness you like. When the steaks are crusty-charred and done to your liking, remove from the pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. During this time the meat continues to cook (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven) and the juices redistribute (add juices that accumulate from resting steaks to Cabernet-Cherry Sauce). Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto individual serving plates.



July 11th, 2008

Is Steak All You Think About?


In the dark recesses of my mind is a twisted view of reality that I only let out every so often. Today, I am sharing it with you. . .

I was pondering life and I decided how much happier we would be if all of the images and talk of s*e*x in our society were replaced with steak.

* We could all get some popcorn and see the “Steak and the City” movie. All age groups would be admitted.

* Victoria’s Secret would be in the business of selling steaky lingerie. Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

* Ross and Rachel from “Friends” could have had a nice filet instead of an unplanned pregnancy.

* My son’s question to me last week would have been, “Mommy, what is steak?” I would much rather have answered that one.

* And, if you’re a “Seinfeld” fan, the now-famous phrase would be, “Steak . . . to SAVE the friendship!”

How much nicer would life be if we could look up at a billboard in Times Square and see a nice, big, juicy Porterhouse? I would not have to explain to my son why there is a larger-than-life photo of a man in his underwear on a city street.

I’m just sayin’ maybe there is room for a movement in our society — away from images of sex and TOWARD images of steaming hot T-bones. I, for one, would be grateful, thankful.

Good day. 

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About Me

Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

Read More About Me »

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